Psalm Project Africa PPA
Kampala, Central Region, Uganda
Singing is a major part of every human culture and worship expression. Christians and non-Christians alike have used songs in worship for thousands of years, history tells us. But singing has not been useful to humans for religious worship only. Besides the entertainment factor associated with it (in both ancient and modern times), music has also been a useful tool to communicate crucial knowledge of God, human experiences, history, and moral lessons to generations in most cultures. More particularly in Africa, for example, songs were used to pass on history, family genealogical and ancestral lineage (e.g. the Griots’ songs in Senegal and poetic songs and recitations in Rwanda), moral lessons, and essential knowledge of/or experiences with the world, culture, political powers, and nature from one generation to another. That, combined with dance and festivals, accounted for much of Africa’s oral culture.
In the Bible, the Psalms are given to us first and foremost as a collection of songs. They were used in the worship service as hymns, psalms of remembrance, worship, wisdom, kingship, and confidence (How to read the Psalms. Their content is full of doctrine ranging from the attributes of The Almighty God, messianic prophecies, man’s salvation, and all the aspects of human experiences of life and God from the first to the last one. They are, therefore, appropriate for congregational and individual worship.
In modern times, however, music’s usefulness is steadily being valued in relation to entertainment, emotionalism, and/or similar purposes. It is evident that in many modern churches songs have been reduced to just beautiful melodies, with just a few things about Jesus repeated over and over in congregational worship. This stands in contrast with traditional content-rich Christian hymns and choruses. Psalm Project Africa believes it is incumbent upon us today to take up a vital task to revive the culture of singing sound doctrine, for our sake and for the sake of future generations.
Given that the Psalms are a doctrinal songbook, we believe that the African Church and African believers need to incorporate it in worship and life in music form. We believe that today’s generation can counter the growing trend, in many African churches, of singing shallow songs whether they are borrowed from other cultures or local compositions. We believe that it is possible to revive the centuries-old African cultures of singing content (Scripture, in t